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US disease tracker: Orion Health

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For improvement in nation-wide early detection, rapid response for potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies, more than 45 state health departments in US are using technology provided by Orion Health, the software developer. The state departments of health are being urged by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies to strengthen their emergency preparedness, response and health tracking systems to provide access to information that could be important in an emergency response or in trend analysis of health patterns. By streamlining the task of processing hundreds of thousands of pieces of health data, Orion Health’s off-the shelf software, Rhapsody Integration Engine, is helping to ease the pressure on healthcare organizations. Data is collected daily from thousands of different patients with a variety of health conditions, including swine flu.

Rhapsody increases the accuracy and speed with which healthcare organizations can collect reportable data from disparate systems. Each day, Rhapsody processes thousands of these messages, then it securely delivers them to public health agencies using Orion Health’s PHINMS Public Health Information Messaging Service. The software makes it easy for state workers to automatically feed data into the CDC’s nationwide disease surveillance systems, to create reports, and provide health officers at the local, regional and national levels with access to information that could be important to an emergency response.

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